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Aug 16, 2010

Welcome to the Nippon Pro Baseball 2019 thread!



wiki posted:

Nippon Professional Baseball consists of two leagues, the Central League and the Pacific League with six teams/franchises each. There are also two secondary-level professional minor leagues, the Eastern League and the Western League, that play shorter schedules for developing players.
The Pacific League is dumb and has a DH.
The Central League is cool and has no DH.


All the teams have been in training camps since mid January in southern Japan and Okinawa.
Spring Exhibition games start on 2/23 and run until 3/24.
The first day of the season is 3/29.

I love baseball, and hope to get to know the NPB better. Over the next few weeks I want to write a season preview for each team. Then when the season starts I want/hope to do a weekly recap. I tried this 2 years ago and failed. Will this year be any diffrent? Will anyone read this?

Interesting $tuff about NPB
Draft -

Blogger Kozo Ota posted:

The first round of the draft is based on a simultaneous bid system. All 12 teams declare the player they wish to select with their first selection. The negotiation rights to players that are named by only 1 team, go to the team that selected them. The rights to players that are named by multiple teams are decided by random draw. Teams that lose out on the draw must name another available player, and the process repeats itself until all 12 teams have selected a player. All subsequent rounds carry on through a snaking draft order.
All players selected in the draft who agree to a contract with their drafting club must sign a Uniform Player Contract. Draftees can only negotiate the amount of the signing bonus. Club control over a player’s labor as a professional baseball player in Japan is for a minimum of seven years. College/Industral League draftees = 7 years. High School draftee = 9 years. These are years are judged for time on the Ichi-gun roster.

Roster Rules - All NPB clubs can reserve a maximum of seventy registered players on what is commonly called the seventy-man roster. Ichi-gun (Division 1) Team has an active roster of twenty-eight players. The remaining rostered players are assigned to a club’s minor league team called Ni-gun (Division 2). All clubs maintain a roster of ikusei (development) players and these players can be transferred to the seventy-man roster. There is no limit on the number of foreign players permitted on a seventy-man roster but only four foreign players can be on an Ichi-gun roster. The average salary of a Ni-gun player is $218,000.
Roster            Players  Foreigners   Changes Allowed
----------------  -------  -----------  ---------------
Organizational    70       Unlimited    N/A
First Team        40       Unlimited    On Set Days
First Team Bench  28       Unlimited    Daily
Game-day Roster   25       4 (3 per G)  Each Game
(max 3 pitchers or fielders for foreigners per game)

Contracts/Free Agents - Drafted players annually sign a contract for a term of one-year, and a player's salary can fluctuate from year to year based on player performance or if a club reduces its total payroll. Free agents often sign multi-year contracts. After the 7/9 years the player is eligible for free agency. International free agent qualification is 9 years, but if a player changes team via domestic free agency 4 more years of service time are required for international free agency. A player may be posted at any time.

The first year salary of a free agent who transfers to a new club cannot exceed the salary paid by his current club.

Free agent compensation
Type A Free agents = players who were in a team’s top three players for salary - compensation is either money (80 per cent of the player’s last salary) or money (50 per cent of player’s salary) and one unprotected player.

Type B Free agents = players who were in a team’s top four to ten salary earners - compensation is either money (60 per cent of the player’s last salary) or money (40 per cent of player’s salary) and one unprotected player.

Type C Free agents = are all other players - no compensation.

Avg Game Time 2018
3:13 for 9 innings.

2018 Standings and links to team previews
2018 Champions
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks wins 4 games to 1 over Hiroshima Toyo Carp

#01 埼玉西武ライオンズ
#02 広島東洋カープ
#03 福岡ソフトバンクホークス
#04 東京ヤクルトスワローズ
#05 北海道日本ハムファイターズ
#06 読売ジャイアンツ
#07 横浜DeNAベイスターズ
#08 ORIX Buffaloes
#09 Chunichi Dragons
#10 Hanshin Tigers
#11 Chiba Lotte Marines
#12 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

ScottyJSno fucked around with this message at Mar 19, 2019 around 04:07


Oct 6, 2009

This will make sure you don't suggest to the KDz
That he should grow greens instead of crushing on MCs

Grimey Drawer

I would love to follow the NPB more closely but being in the U.S. means all the games are on very early in the morning.

Is there a good NPB daily recap? Sort of like MLB channel.

Aug 16, 2010

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

2018 Record
58-82 (3 Ties) .414% and 29.5 games behind 1st.
6th place in the Pacific League.

Last Championship
Team EST in 2005
Pacific League Pennant - 1 (2013)
Japan Series Championship - 1 (2013)
Drought - 5 years

Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi (Sendai)
Capacity 30,508

Corporate sponsor
Rakuten, Inc. Rakuten is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world's largest by sales. Think if had unreadable design.

Ex-players you might know
Andruw Jones
Masahiro Tanaka
Kevin Youkilis
Hisashi Iwakuma


2019 Slogan
"RESTART! 日本一の東北へ"
"RESTART! To north eastern Japan"

#89 Yousuke Hirashi (38)

This will be Hirashi's first year as manager. At the tender age of 37 he enters as the youngest manager in NPB history since the start of the 2 league system in 1950. He has been with the team as player or coach since 2005.

Projected Starters
*=LHB/LHP #=Switch

C - Platoon with #27 *Takero Okajima (28) .190/.265/.287 and #37 Motohiro Shima (33) .206/.277/.251

Left handed Okajima is 2011 4th round draftee. Reported to be fast and able to beat out many infield hits, especially for an catcher. He made the all star game 2016. This will be his first year back catching full time after a few years in the OF. Has a outstanding "pop" time to 2B at around 1.9s.

Righty Shima is 2 time Golden Glove winner, and a Best 9 winner in 2010 and 2013. He was also the long time battery mate of Yankees ace Tanaka. Shima is fast for a C and is one of the better sacrifice bunters on the team, often time being called on to to bunt a suicide squeeze. He also has a "pop" speed to 2B at around 1.9.

B #33 *Ginji (30) .276/.344/.360

Ginji is a the 8 year veteran at 1B for the Eagles. He generally a very reliable contact hitter with little power. He is a 2 time Best 9 winner, once at 3B in 2014 and again in 2017 at 1B. He also won the Gold Glove at 1B in 2017.

2B #3 Hideto Asamura (27) .310/.383/.527

Asamura is the big free agent signing of the off season. The 9 year veteran is coming off a monster season with the Pacific League champions Saitama Seibu Lions. 2018 had him set career highs in H, HR, and RBIs. He is a 4 time Best Nine winner, 1 time Gold Glove winner, and 2 time All-Star. The Eagles have high hopes for the veteran.

3B #40 Zelous Wheeler (30) .265/.351/.478

The Milwaukee Brewers selected Wheeler in the 19th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. Then he signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees before the 2014 season. After starting the season in the minor leagues, Wheeler made his MLB debut on July 3, 2014. He only got 16 hits in 29 games. After the 2014 season, the Yankees let Wheeler go to the Eagles. Wheeler has seemed to find his niche in Japan. In 2018 he was named vice-captain of the team. Unfortunately he missed 2 months due to injuring his hand on a sliding attempt in June. He is looking for a comeback season to put him back on track.

SS #5 Eigoro Mogi (25) .247/.328/.349

A 2015 draftee out of university, Mogi perform admirably in in rookie outing in 2016. He was the first rookie in team history to make the opening day lineup. With the 14th highest BA in all NPB Mogi came in 3rd in Rookie of the year voting. He is coming off bit of a slump season though. In 2018 his BA dropped from .296 to .247, and he hit 10 less HR then in 2017.

LF #35 *Hiroaki Shimauchi (29) .292/.373/.431

Drafted in 2011, Shimauchi has been a steady presence on the team for the past 7 years. Even after missing a month to a oblique strain, he is coming off his best season ever in 2018.

CF #25 #Kazuki Tanaka (24) .265/.323/.423

Tanaka was the 2018 rookie of the year. This came on the back of 18 HRs and a team leading 21 SB. You may have seen him play back in November in the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series.

RF #69 (nice) Jabari Blash (29) .317/.431/.700 in 346 PA @ AAA Salt Lake

Blash is a new addition from the MLB. The Seattle Mariners drafted Blash in the eighth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. After bouncing around being a PTBNL in a few notable trades, Blash found him self in the Angels system. Blash did not do well in pro-ball. He has a OPS+ of 71 in 324 PA. The Eagles hope he will have success in the NPB that more reflects his AAA line. In 5 years in AAA he has slashed .274/.394/.606.

DH #8 Toshiaki Imae (35) .276/.334/.397

Imae is a unremarkable 3 time All-Star veteran infielder in the twilight of his career. This underscores the problem the Eagles have at DH now. Man mountain Japhet Amador (PED suspension .277/.341/.574) and Carlos Peguero (.233/.316/.427), 2 of their best power hitters, were nontendered. With no real better option Imae slots in here.

Notable Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching

#14 Takahiro Norimoto (27) 10-11 3.69 ERA / 1.231 WHIP / 9.3 K/9 / 3.67 K/BB / 3.10 FIP / 180.1 IP

Norimoto was the 2013 Rookie of the year. He was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft. Norimoto is one of the standout pitchers in the NPB. After his ROTY season He improved in every regard, he led the league in Ks and inning pitched every year from 2014 to 2018. Norimoto throws a 90mph fastball and is know for his devastating slider which can have different break profiles. He is expected to be posted after this season.

#11 Takayuki Kishi (34) 11-4 2.72 ERA / 0.981 WHIP / 9.0 K/9 / 5.48 K/BB / 3.39 FIP / 159.0 IP

A major FA signing for the 2017 season, he is a local boy having played through university in Miyagi-Ken. Kishi throws a 89mph fastball, changeup, slider and a 70mph curveball. Kishi is known to be very athletic, and is two time All-Star and a 1 time Gold Glove winner. The Eagles are hoping for another big year from this veteran.

#1 *Yuki Matsui (23) 5-8 3.65 ERA / 1.230 WHIP / 12.3 K/9 / 3.14 K/BB / 2.46 FIP / 11 Holds / 5 Saves / 66.2 IP

Mastsui is a exciting player. He has been the Eagles main closer since 2015 when he was 19 years old. He is the fastest to 100 total saves in NPB history. His 2018 season was a bit a of a disappointment though. His manager lost faith in him in the early going and Herrmann took over his closer role. He is fastball and slider pitcher. I suspect he will be the closer again this year.

#42 Frank Herrmann (34) 2-3 1.99 ERA / 1.169 WHIP / 8.7 K/9 / 2.59 K/BB / 2.86 FIP / 12 Holds / 18 Saves / 45.1 IP

Herrmann was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 2006. He made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians June 4, 2010. After showing some promise at the end the 2012 season, he was forced to undergo Tommy John Surgery in March of 2013. After electing free agency in 2015, he was signed by the Phillies in 2016, then outrighted at the end of the season. In his Eagles debut season he lead the team in holds and was #2 in Games pitched in. In 2018 he became the closer after the young phenomena Mastui struggled in early going. He will likely return to a setup role this year.

#32 Alan Busenitz (27) 2-3 2.48 ERA / 1.000 WHIP / 10.1 K/9 / 5.63 K/BB in 40 innings AAA Rochester

Another pick up this year from the USA. The Los Angels Angels selected him in the 25th round of the 2013 MLB draft. The Angels traded Busenitz to the Minnesota Twins, where he pitched 57 innings in The Show. Busenitz was granted his unconditional release on November 20, 2018, allowing him to sign with the Eagles. He had no real success in the Bigs over two years he was there and ended up with a career 97 ERA+ and a FIP of 5.49.

C - C
1B - C
2B - A
3B - B
SS - B
LF - B-
CF - A
RF - ?
DH - D

Rotation - C+
Bullpen - A

Another year near the middle. While it is possible that the Eagles can make it to the playoffs, I don't think they have the depth hitting or enough starting pitching to make it all the way.

ScottyJSno fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 07:26

Apr 8, 2013
Can't post for 44 hours!

I love this flavor of effort post, awesome work

Apr 8, 2013
Can't post for 44 hours!

Guess the source of the quotes


I love baseball, and I go to the ballpark often. In 1978, when I was twenty-nine, I went to the baseball park in Tokyo to see my favorite team, the Yakult Swallows. It was opening day, a very sunny day. I was watching the game and the first batter hit a double, and at that moment I got a feeling I could write.


I don’t do socialization much. I like to be by myself in a quiet place with a lot of records and, possibly, cats. And cable TV, to watch the baseball game. I think that’s all I want.

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010

Has the culture for foreign players changed much since You Gotta Have Wa?

Aug 16, 2010

El Gallinero Gros posted:

Has the culture for foreign players changed much since You Gotta Have Wa?

I haven't read that book. But I gotta think things are way better. Post bubble Japan is worlds apart from what it was. I mean I have been in Japan for almost 20 years and my dumb job has gotten better. After glancing at some passages, I am gonna pick up that book this weekend.

Popete posted:

I would love to follow the NPB more closely but being in the U.S. means all the games are on very early in the morning.

Is there a good NPB daily recap? Sort of like MLB channel.

There is a Pacific League YouTube channel that show highlights from Pacific League games. I will look for more in the spring training and as the season starts up.

Aug 16, 2010

Chiba Lotte Marines

2018 Record
59-81 (3 Ties) .421% and 28.5 games behind 1st.
5th place in the Pacific League.

Last Championship
Team EST in 1950
Pacific League Pennant - 5 (1950, 1960, 1970, 1974, 2005)
Japan Series Championship - 4 (1950, 1974, 2005, 2010)
Drought - 8 years

ZOZO Marine Stadium (Chiba City)
Capacity 30,082

Corporate sponsor
Lotte Holdings Co., Ltd. They make ice cream and other snacks. Americans might remember them for their Koala Yummies.

Ex-players you might know
Bobby Valentine
Julio Franco
Matt Franco
Hideki Irabu
Tadahito Iguchi


2019 Slogan

#6 Tadahito Iguchi(44)

This will be Iguchi's 2nd year as manager. Probably best know for the White Soxs' 2005 World Series run. He is the only player to have ever been a member of two different World Series championship teams, the 2005 Chicago White Sox and 2008 Philadelphia Phillies and two or more different Japan Series championship teams.

Projected Starters
*=LHB/LHP #=Switch

C - #22 Tatsuhiro Tamura (24) .239/.309/.328

Two time All-Star, and one time Best Nine winner, Tamura has been the starting catcher since 2015. He appeared in all 143 games in the 2018 season.

1B - #44 Seiya Inoue (29) .292/.374/.506

Drafted in 2014, Inoue is a "Beefy Lad". At 115 kg (253.5lbs) he has the distinction of being the heaviest player ever drafted. Last year saw his first full season at 1st base. He swings a large bat at 34.25 inches in length and 32.8 ounces. He is the only power hitter the Marines have, he hit the team best 24 HR. The next highest was 8 HR.

2B - #8 Shogo Nakamura (26) .284/.374/.393

Nakamura is another of the 2014 draft class. Where as Inoue hits dingers, Nakamura steals bases. His manager set the goal of 30 SB for season, when the season ended he had 39. He ended up with the Gold Glove at 2B too.

3B - #7 *Daichi Suzuki (29) .266/.346/.398

Suzuki is a workhorse. He has appeared in every game but 1 since 2013. Profiles as a contact hitter that should have a AVG in the .300s. He is a 2 time Best Nine winner, 1 time Gold Glove winner, and 2 time All-Star.

SS - #4 *Yudai Fujioka (25) .230/.294/.305

A 2nd round draft pick in 2017, Fujioka was an rare opening day rookie starter in 2018. He is hoping for a strong sophomore year.

LF - #3 *Katsuya Kakunaka (31) .265/.345/.382

The team loves its contact hitters. Kakunaka is another in long line of low power high avg hitters. He is a two time Best Nine award winner. The team is hoping he returns to his 2016 form were he had a league leading 178 hits and a .339 avg.

CF - #0 Takashi Ogino (33) .287/.330/.372 in 351 PA

Ogino is one of the fastest, and best base stealers in Japan. Ogino has stolen double digit of bases every year since his debut. After his first ever All-Star selection in 2018, he suffered a season ending hand injury in July. He should be back on track for this season.

RF - #13 *Taiga Hirasawa (21) .213/.328/.330

Hirasawa will have to prove a lot to stay in the starting line up. Drafted in 2015, he saw his first limited NPB action in 2016 and 2017. Last year saw is first full season with the top level team. He is a true super utility man he has experience playing literally every position but catcher. He says he want to play in the infield, but he has developed a bit of errant throwing arm.

DH - #54 Brandon Laird (31) .233/.309/.447 or #42 #Kennys Vargas (28) .240/.326/.425

Laird is a FA pick up this year from Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The New York Yankees selected Laird in the 27th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. He made his MLB debut on July 22 2011. Like many of the MLB transplants he bounced around teams via trade and waiver claim. In the end he signed with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters for the 2015 season. While he started slow, he took off in 2016. He hit a league leading 39 HR, won a Best Nine award, and was named the Japan Series MVP. A 3B by trade, Laird represent some much needed power for the Marines.

A pick up from the MLB, Vargas is another Beefy Lad. He has been compared to David Ortiz due to their similarities in size. Vargas stands 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall and weighs about 275 pounds. In 2009 the Minnesota Twins signed him as an amateur free agent. Starting in 2014 he bounced between the Major League club and AAA for 4 seasons. Vargas selected FA and signed with the Marines for the 2019 season. I see real potential in Vargas. He is one of the few transplants with a positive Major League OPS+ at 102 in 236 games. As a switch hitter and as big as he is he should see lots of playing time.

Notable Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching

#86 Mike Bolsinger (31) 13-2 3.06 ERA / 1.215 WHIP / 6.4 K/9 / 1.95 K/BB / 3.44 FIP / 117.2 IP

Bolsinger was a All-Star last year. Bolsinger was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 15th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He pitched at the Major League level for the Diamond Backs, Dodgers, and the Blue Jays. He even started 21 games for the Dodgers in 2016. Bolsinger never really seem to put it together. He ended his time in the Bigs with a ERA+ of 79 and 4.59 FIP. He signed with the Marines in 2018. Over the first half of the year he won 11 straight games. Unfortunately he ended up missing the last 2 months of the season to a hand injury. The Marines hope he will be able to pick back up were he was last season.

#18 Hideaki Wakui(32) 7-9 3.70 ERA / 1.314 WHIP / 5.9 K/9 / 2.30 K/BB / 3.94 FIP / 150.2 IP

Wakui is one of the top SP in Japan over the past 10 years. The 14 year veteran is a 4 time Gold Glove winner, and a 1 time Eiji Sawamura Award (Best pitcher) winner. He joined the Marines in 2014 via FA. But it looks like Wakui is on the down slide of his career. He has no 1 good swing and miss pitch, this leads to high pitch counts and more balls then he would like. He is known to be cerebral pitcher, changing his tactics mid game. His goal for the season in 18 wins. (lol not happening)

#21 Tatsuya Uchi (33) 3-5 3.84 ERA / 1.193 WHIP / 8.3 K/9 / 2.84 K/BB / 3.26 FIP / 7 Holds / 26 Saves / 58.2 IP

Uchi is a 12 year veteran who cant seem to stay healthy. But 2017 saw him start to right the ship, it was his first full season. He continued the trend in 2018 as the closer, and getting an All-Star nod. Uchi hopes this third year will be the charm.

#52 Naoya Masuda (29) 2-6 3.08 ERA / 1.104 WHIP / 8.5 K/9 / 2.26 K/BB / 3.69 FIP / 19 Holds / 3 Saves / 64.1 IP

Masuda was hot out of the gates. His ROTY season in 2012 had him as the setup man, he had a 1.67 ERA, WHIP of 1.062 in 75.1 innings. His sophomore season saw him as the closer and he had a league leading 33 saves. Since he has been plagued by injuries, and alternating good season with bad. I think he will start the year as the setup man to Uchi`s closer.

#00 Josh Ravin (31) 18 innings at AAA Gwinnett. Out for rest of season due to head trama.

Ravin is a lotto ticket for the Marines. Drafted in in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft by Reds, he went on to play for in the minors and majors for the Reds, Dodgers, and Braves. He cracked the Majors in 2015 - 2018 and has 81 ERA+ over 38.2 innings. He was popped for PEDs in 2016, has mediocre numbers in AAA, and was hit in the head and knocked out (of the season too) by a line drive in 2018. He has only pitched 95.1 innings over the last 3 years at all levels. I don't expect much from him.

#85 *Brandon Mann (34) 4-1 2.41 ERA / 1.166 WHIP / 7.7 K/9 / 1.88 K/BB at AAA Round Rock in 52.1 innings

Mann is another Hail Mary. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays selected Mann in the 27th round of the 2002 MLB draft. He didn't stick making as high as AA. In 2011 and 2012 he played in NPB for the Yokohama Bay Stars. 2011 had him limited to injury, but still pitching well. 2012 was a disaster, with more injures and 5.32 ERA. He returned to the USA and played some independent league ball, and had his contract bought by the As. Then he got hit with a PED suspension. 2018 had him sign a minor league contract with the Rangers, and at the age 33 years and 362 days old Mann became the oldest player to make his Major League debut since Chang-Yong Lim in 2013 and the oldest North American player to make his Major League debut since Alan Zinter in 2002. 8.1 innings, 4 walks and 5 runs later DFA -> Marines. He will go by only his first name "Brandon" on his jersey and in media.

C - C+
1B - A
2B - B-
3B - C
SS - C
LF - C
CF - B-
RF - D
DH - A

Rotation - C-
Bullpen - C-

Bottom dwellers for sure. The Marines are a young team that look to be building to something good. But this year is not it. They have too many corner infielders, not enough OF, one good starter, and too many question marks in the pen. In 2018 the team had only 1 player hit more then 8 HRs, the worst team in NPB (Rakuten) had 11 players do it. I will have my eye on Vargas though, he looks like he might turn a few heads.

Oct 6, 2009

This will make sure you don't suggest to the KDz
That he should grow greens instead of crushing on MCs

Grimey Drawer

ScottyJSno posted:

He swings a large bat at 34.25 inches in length and 32.8 ounces.

Huh weird, does NPB have different bat weight standards than MLB or is this just a metrics oddity? In the U.S. bat weights are usually in halves of an ounce and you cannot have less than a -3 drop between bat length and weight. For example a typical 33" bat weighs 30 ounces. The drop is (bat weight - bat length) and cannot be less than -3. But it looks like Japan manufactures bats of a more granular length/weight ratio than you usually see here in the U.S. At most you'll see half ounce bat lengths, e.g. 32.5/29.5 ounce bat.

Aug 16, 2010

Popete posted:

Huh weird, does NPB have different bat weight standards than MLB or is this just a metrics oddity? In the U.S. bat weights are usually in halves of an ounce and you cannot have less than a -3 drop between bat length and weight. For example a typical 33" bat weighs 30 ounces. The drop is (bat weight - bat length) and cannot be less than -3. But it looks like Japan manufactures bats of a more granular length/weight ratio than you usually see here in the U.S. At most you'll see half ounce bat lengths, e.g. 32.5/29.5 ounce bat.

I took what Japanese wiki had on him. 930g、87cm then just converted it and rounded.

32.805 ounces / 34.252 inches.

I don't know anything about bat rules. The wiki says it is gaint size for Japan.

Aug 16, 2010

Hanshin Tigers

2018 Record
62-79 (2 Ties) .440% and 20.0 games behind 1st.
6th place in the Central League.

Last Championship
Team EST in 1935
Central League Pennant - 5 (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005)
Japan Series Championship - 1 (1985)
Drought - 33 years

Hanshin Koshien Stadium (Nishinomiya, Hyogo. Between Kobe and Osaka)
Capacity 47,508

Corporate sponsor
Hanshin Electric Railway Co., Ltd. A Japanese private railway that links Kobe to Osaka and the surrounding areas.

Ex-players you might know
Seung-hwan Oh
Matt Murton
Kei Igawa
Cecil Fielder
Ryan Vogelsong
Tony Tarasco
George Altman
Randy Bass


2019 Slogan
ぶち破れ! オレがヤル
Break the feeling ! I will do it

#88 Akihiro Yano (50)

After their worst finish since 2001, 3rd year manager and NPB Hall of Famer, Tomoaki Kanemoto, stepped down. In comes first year manager Yano. Yano is coming off a championship year with the Tiger's Ni-gun team. He used an aggressive on base-paths strategy to take the team from worst in the Ni-gun league to the top. Wladimir Balentien beat him up in 2017.

Projected Starters
*=LHB/LHP #=Switch

C - #44 Ryutaro Umeno (27) .259/.328/.396

Umemo is a solid presence behind home plate. He was drafted in the 4th round in 2013. 2017 was his first full year at catcher, and had him going to the All-Star game. Last year he won the Gold Glove on the back of 38% caught stealing rate. This was the first time in NPB history that the C Gold Glove came from a team in last place.

1B - #99 *Efren Navarro (32) .276/.342/.374 in 225 PA or #31 Jefry Marté (27) .216/.273.371 / 77 OPS+ @ LAA in 209 PA

Navarro joined the Tigers midway through the 2018 season. Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 50th round of the 2007 MLB draft (1450th out of 1453 total), he could never seem to get out of AAA ball. Most recently he spent a week with the Cubs last April. Navarro has impressive AAA numbers .304/.371/.428 in 8 seasons. In mid June of 2018 he joined the Tigers. The Tigers see him as a versatile player. He spent time at 1B, LF, and CF(!). If Fukudome dies I expect he will spend a bunch of time in the OF.

Marté spent the 2018 season on the LAA playing at 1B when Pujols was at DH. He elected free agency and joins the Tigers for the 2019 season. He has had pretty good numbers @ AAA - .270/.342/.463 . He will be able to play at the corners in the infield.

2B - #33 *Kento Itohara (26) .286/.390/.362

Itohara is the youngest team captain the Tigers have ever had. He takes over the roll from long time veteran Fukudome. Itohara was drafted in 2016, he is fast and a good defender. He prefers to play 3B but his defense is better suited to the middle infield. In 2018 he was an All-Star.

3B - #3 Yusuke Oyama (24) .274/.326/.447

Oyama got his chance to play full time in 2018 thanks to the veteran 3B Hiroki Uemoto tearing is ACL in the early going. He did not waist it. The 2nd year player hit 11 HRs and had the 4th best OPS on the Team. He is a known free swinger, and has been working hard on being more patient. With a deep infield depth Oyama will have to do well to keep a starting job.

SS - #2 Fumiya Hojo (24) .322/.370/.377

Although he did not start 2018season with the top level team, when Hojo was called up at the end of June he mad a splash. He was named July's NPB MVP after hitting AVG of .400. Sadly the season ended on a sour note for Hojo, on 9/15 he had to be carted of the field due to a shoulder dislocation.

LF - #8 *Kosuke Fukudome (41!) .280/.389/.454

Active in professional baseball for 20 years, Fukudome can still play. He started his career with the Chunichi Dragons way back in 1999. For 9 seasons he racked up the accolades, 1 MVP, 4 Best Nines, 4 Gold Gloves, and 4 All-Star games. In 2007 the Chicago Cubs signed Fukudome to a four-year, $48 million contract. After 5 years and 99 OPS+, 2013 had him coming back to the NPB and the Tigers at the age of 36. Age does not seem to be slowing him down, over the last 4 years his lowest OPS has been .818. He even got another Gold Glove and Best Nine in 2015. The Tigers have lots of options should this be the year he hangs up his spikes.

CF - Platoon #53 *Kairi Shimada (23) .200/.222/.286 and #60 Masahiro Nakatani (26) .230/.287/.342

The new manager knows Shimada well. He was instrumental in helping manager Yano take the Ni-Gun team to the top of the table. He is fast, steals a ton of bases, and he has some power. I think he will get a chance to do big things this year.

Nakatani may not be the long term solution at CF the Tigers hoped he would be. Drafted in 2010, he never could stick at the top level team. Then in 2017 it looked as if he could final hold the starting job. He had a slash of .241/.308/.443 with 20 HR. But in 2018 he was disappointing and started intermittently. CF might be the Tigers weakest position. Hopefully Nakatani or one of the other option will finally put it together.

RF - #7 *Yoshio Itoi (37) .308/.420/.480

Itoi is a NPB superstar. He is a 5 time Best Nine, and 7 time Gold Glove winner. He was drafted in 2003 by the Nippon Ham Fighters. When the star and the Fighters could not reach a contract agreement in 2012, he was shockingly traded to the Orix Buffalos. 4 more excellent years of baseball later he was a free agent. He received a 4 year ≈$5millon AAV contract form the Tigers. He is the 9th highest in total earnings in NPB history.

Notable Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching

#54 Randy Messenger (37) 11-7 3.63 ERA / 1.255 WHIP / 7.7 K/9 / 2.57 K/BB / 3.30 FIP / 173.2 IP

Messenger has been a solid starter for the Tigers since 2010. A 1999 draftee by the Florida Marlins. In 2005 he got his first shot at the Show. After limited time being in the MLB teams over 5 years and a ERA+ of 89, 2010 saw Messenger sign with the Tigers. Through 9 seasons with the Tigers at the end of 2018, Messenger has an 95-77 record with a 3.05 ERA and 1420 strikeouts in 1527 1/3 innings pitched. He also has 16 complete games and 10 shutouts.

#77 *Onelki García (29) 13-9 2.99 ERA / 1.287 WHIP / 7.0 K/9 / 1.81 K/BB / 3.82 FIP / 168.2 IP

This Cuban national defected from Cuba in August 2010. He spent time in the the Dodgers', White Soxs', and Royals' systems. García was signed by the Chunichi Dragons for the 2018 season. After being unable to reach a deal with the Dragons, he was signed by the Tigers for this season for about $1.7 million.

#17 *Yuta Iwasada (27) 7-10 3.82 ERA / 1.212 WHIP / 8.3 K/9 / 3.81 K/BB / 3.65 FIP / 132 IP

Iwasada was a #1 draft pick in 2013. He is a good looking young lefty. He got his first full season in the NPB in 2016. He is a two time All-Star, in 2016 and 2018. Last year he improved his command, he dropped his BB/9 from 4.0 to 2.2! Iwasada is somebody to watch this coming season.

#98 Rafael Dolis (31) 1-7 2.85 2.85 ERA / 1.248 WHIP / 9.4 K/9 / 3.29 K/BB / 2.92 FIP / 4 Holds / 32 Saves / 53.2 IP

Doils is a big hard throwing Dominican, with a 100+ MPH fastball. After failing to find a spot with the Cubs, Giants, and Detroit, the Hanshin Tigers brought him over for the 2016 season. He holds the rerecord for hardest pitch ever recorded in Koshien Stadium. Over the past 2 years he has consistently been at the top of the list of best closers in the NPB.

#64 Kentaro Kuwahara (33) 5-3 2.68 ERA / 1.123 WHIP / 10.3 K/9 / 5.42 K/BB / 2.90 FIP / 32 Holds / 0 Saves / 57 IP

Kuwahara is an good setup man. After being a trade chip 3 times and limited playing time for the first 9 years of his career, the last 2 two season have be good for Kuwahara. 2017 had his WHIP at 0.944. Then 2018 had is Ks up from the year before. He will likely remain the setup man to Dolis's closer.

#22 Kyuji Fujikawa (38) 5-3 2.32 ERA / 1.215 WHIP / 11.1 K/9 / 1.81 K/BB / 3.32 FIP / 21 Holds / 2 Saves / 54.3 IP

Fujikawa has been one of the most dominate RP in the NPB for the last 20 years. Drafted by the Tigers in the first round in 1998, he saw his first NPB level ball in 2000. Over the next 12 seasons he would go on to rack up 220 saves and have his WHIP be right around 1.000. In 2013 came to the MLB, joining the Cubs. After 3 unremarkable seasons with the Cubs, and Rangers, he was back with the Hanshin Tigers. While he is a bit more wild and walks more guys then he used to, he still racks up the Ks.

C - A
1B - B-
2B - B
3B - B
SS - B
LF - B
CF - C-
RF - A

Rotation - B
Bullpen - B-

This team is deep. They have lots of options for every position, young starting pitching, and a bullpen that might be a bit old but still solid. I like this team's chances. The only thing that will hold them back is the new manager, Yano loves to steal, and might be too aggressive. I think this team can make the playoffs.

Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

Grimey Drawer

Aug 16, 2010

Chunichi Dragons

2018 Record
63-78 (2 Ties) .447% and 19.0 games behind 1st.
5th place in the Central League.

Last Championship
Team EST in 1936
Central League Pennant - 9 (1954, 1974, 1982, 1988, 1999, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011)
Japan Series Championship - 2 (1954, 2007)
Drought - 11 years

Nagoya Dome (Nagoya City)
Capacity 36,650

Corporate sponsor
Chunichi Shimbun Co., Ltd the 4th largest newspaper publisher in Japan

Ex-players you might know
Kosuke Fukudome
Wei-Yin Chen
Tom Selleck
Dennis Haysbert
Ken Takakura


2019 Slogan
Return of the raising dragon! WITH BLUE

#92 Tsuyoshi Yoda(53)

Yoda is another 1st year manager. He was a Dragons legend in the 90s. In 2018 he worked with the Rakuten Eagles Ni-gun team. He hates the words "effort" or "hard work" and instead uses the word "preparation".

Projected Starters
*=LHB/LHP #=Switch

C - #38 *Masato Matsui (31) .229/.324/.298

Matsui is an unremarkable player. He has mainly been a 3rd string catcher up until 2017. Has one of worst catcher arms in the NPB with a caught stealing % in 2018 of .170. 2019 will have the Dragons looking to some of the C prospects.

1B - #66 Dayan Viciedo (29) .348/.419/.555

In 2008 Viciedo was an international amateur FA signing out of Cuba for the Chicago White Sox. In 2010 he made the show and played mainly in the outfield for the Sox. In 5 years of regular playing time he racked up a OPS+ of 97. In 2015 he was DFA and bounced around AAA affiliates before joining the Dragons in 2016. 2018 was a monster year for Viciedo. He ended the 2018 season with a Best Nine award thanks to a league leading 178 hits and .348 BA. August in particular was good for him, he missed Ichiro's single month hit record of 48 by 1.

2B - #3 *Shuhei Takahashi (25) .254/.305/.400

Until last year Takahashi has been a platoon bat. But 2018 saw him reach career numbers in all categories. He is a know power hitter and it will be interesting to see if he lives up to his potential. He has been named the team captain for 2019.

3B - #55 Nobumasa Fukuda (30) .261/.322/.405

In high school Fukuda was scouted by the NY Mets, but was drafted in 2007 in the 3rd round by the Dragons. He is a converted C to the IF. Seems to have lost some power with his ISO dropping from .244 to .144 in 2018. He has bat flip game.

SS - #1 *Yota Kyoda (24) .235/.266/.306

The Dragons seem set on Kyoda as their SS. He started in every game but 3 in 2018. In 2017, his ROTY year, he didn't miss a start from May 10th till the end of the season. He is an excellent defender, and a base stealing threat.

LF - #42 #Zoilo Almonte (29) .321/.375/.486

Almonte came up through the Yankees system. He saw some playing time at the big league level in 2013 and 2014. After being outrighted by the Braves in the spring of 2015 he joined the Mexican League, where he flourished slashing .329/.399/.498. Last year the Dragons brought him aboard for a ≈$500,000 1 year deal. In Japan he is known for his lucky beard which he could only start growing after he left the Yankees.

CF - #8 *Yohei Oshima (33) .274/.329/.367

Oshima is a defensive wizard. He is a 6 time Gold Glove winner in CF, a Best Nine Award winner in 2012 on the back of a league leading 32 stolen bases, and a 4 time All-Star. His goal for the season is the batting title, hits title, and most stolen bases in the league.

RF - #6 Ryosuke Hirata (30) .329/.410/.456 or #44 *Steven Moya (26) .301/.347/.441 in 46 games

Hirata is a 12 year veteran in the the outfield for the Dragons. He is coming off a career year in 2018. He is a one time Best 9 winner, and a 2 time All-Star. 2018 also had him winning the Gold Glove in LF. He is a fan favorite due to his joking demeanor, good hair, and strange habits.

Moya signed with the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent in 2008. He was the 2014 Eastern League (AA) Most Valuable Player. In 2015 he made the MLB top 100 prospects list. In 2017 after putting up a OPS+ of 108 in 31 games at the Major league level, Manager Brad Ausmus stated he wanted Moya to work on his outfield defense in a "less stressful environment" and was sent back down to AAA. Moya elected free agency at the end of the 2017 season. The Dragons picked him up for 2018. He only played 46 games in 2018 due to injuries, but he did play a bit of 1B and outfield. The Dragons hope for a big season from the Puerto Rican.

Notable Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching

SP - #18 Daisuke Matsuzaka (38) 6-4 3.74 ERA / 1.482 WHIP / 8.3 K/9 / 1.59 K/BB / 4.31 FIP / 55.1 IP

I don't think I have to say much about the King of the Gyro Ball. He is the best NPB pitcher of the last 20 years. After ending his time in the USA in 2014 season, the Fukuoka Hawks rolled the dice on the aging veteran. He signed a ≈$12 million 3 year contract. 2015 was a nonstarter due to injuries, with Matsuzaka only pitching in 1 Ni-Gun game all year. 2016 was not much better, with him only pitching in the last game of the year. 2017 saw him again not pitch a competitive game. Last year the Dragons brought him aboard after a private workout. On 4/20/2018 4,241 days after his last NPB win, Matsuzaka got the W against the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. His popularity continues to this day, 2018 had Matsuzaka receive a All-Star invite after winning the SP vote by more then 150,000 votes. The Dragons will try to ring one more year worth of blood from this stone.

SP - #19 Kazuki Yoshimi (34) 5-7 3.87 ERA / 1.273 WHIP / 4.4 K/9 / 2.54 K/BB / 4.22 FIP / 125.2 IP

Yoshimi had a good first half of his career. Starting with his first full season in 2008 he played like a super star. From 2008 to 2012, every year he put up WHIPS around 1.000. Then injury kept him from and major playing time for the next 3 years. When he returned he was not the same pitcher. While he doesn't walk a lot of people, he will not strike out many ether.

RP - #25 Yu Sato (25) 1-2 2.08 ERA / 1.154 WHIP / 10.6 K/9 / 2.22 K/BB / 3.02 FIP / 10 Holds / 5 Saves / 43.1 IP

Drafted in 2016, Sato had a breakout year in 2018. He represent one of the best options in the Dragon bullpen.

RP - #70 *Enny Romero (28) 2-1 1.33 ERA / 0.870 WHIP / 9.0 K/9 / 3.60 K/BB / 54.1 IP @ the Dominican Winter League

Romero is a new addition for 2019. He never had good numbers in the minors. Totaling just an AAA ERA 4.43 in 5 seasons. He is known as a wild hard thrower, who can top out in the 100s. He is a good pick up for the Dragons who are desperately lacking lefty pitching.

C - D
1B - B+
2B - C+
3B - C+
SS - B-
LF - B-
CF - B
RF - B

Rotation - D
Bullpen - D

Not much to like here. The Dragons lost their only good SP to FA, they have no left handed pitching, and a new manager with no NPB top level experience. The only up sides I see is a veteran presence and excellent defense. Not to sure how far that will get you.

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010

Do you reckon any major NPB guys will jump any time soon?

Aug 16, 2010

El Gallinero Gros posted:

Do you reckon any major NPB guys will jump any time soon?

Takahiro Norimoto
In 2017 he signed a 3 year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles worth around $23M. This contract carried the provision that they would post him for the 2020.

Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Born: December 17, 1990
Age: 28


Above is 2018 Advanced stats L to R
OppAVG / OppOBP / OppSLG / OppOPS / RSAA = RAA (Runs Better then Average)

Arm slot = high three-quarter

Pitch 1 Fastball

He has strong rising action on his fastball. It is reported that he has 2,500-plus RPM, while averaging around 2,300 — both of which figures are better than the ML average rate of 2,200. He has MLB speed too. His fastest clocked pitch is 158 kph (98.2 mph).

Pitch 2 Slider

It averages at 83mph. Reported to be a plus pitch. He is know in Japan to have a "soft wrist" that lets him throw this pitch with different break.

Pitch 3 Fork

Another plus pitch. Averages at 86mph

He will occasionally throw a curve and change too.

Rookie of the Year 2013
3 time All-star
5 time Strike out Champion

In July he was put on a pitch count do to elbow discomfort. He also had some breathing problems (asthma?).
MLB Scouts will be watching him close to see if he has any more warning signs.

I bet he gets a deal like Maeda did in 2016 loaded with incentives. I look forward to seeing how he does in NPB this year.

Aug 16, 2010

Welp Norimoto is going in to clean out his elbow. The club is not saying but I bet arthroscopic surgery for shards. Anybody know recovery time on that?

Apr 8, 2009

Hi, this is an awesome thread, please keep up the posts. I went to Japan last year, around late sep-early october and saw a Dragons v Tigers game at Nagoya dome and had a loving great time. It was late in the season and both teams had been eliminated by that point but the place was still completely packed and energetic and loud. It was such a great atmosphere. It was also the last game for a couple of guys on the Dragons who were retiring which was cool to see if I didn't really have the connection to the team that everyone else had.

I'm planning to follow along this season, and have been tossing up following either of the Dragons or the Tigers simply because those were the teams I saw (plus I can't really resist a Koala as a mascot, being from Aus and all, and yellow and black pinstripes make for some really cool looking uni's, Masahiro Nakatani's little cheer song will also forever be stuck in my head) or Hiroshima because it was the highlight of our trip and the tour guide we had there told us a little of the history of the team and how the mostly singular ownership of the team has fostered a very very dedicated fanbase which seemed cool. I've been using this to read up about the teams even if it's a little outdated http://graveyardbaseball.blogspot.c...eam-part-1.html

Aug 16, 2010

screaden posted:

I've been using this to read up about the teams even if it's a little outdated http://graveyardbaseball.blogspot.c...eam-part-1.html

This dude has his Central League and Pacific league previews up. If you want a different take then mine.

Aug 16, 2010

Orix Buffaloes

2018 Record
65-73 (5 Ties) .471% and 21.5 games behind 1st.
4th place in the Pacific League.

Last Championship
Team EST in 1936
Pacific League Pennant - 12 (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1995, 1996)
Japan Series Championship - 4 (1975, 1976, 1977, 1996)
Drought - 22 years

Osaka Dome (Kyocera Dome Osaka) (Osaka)
Capacity 36,146

Corporate sponsor
Orix Corporation. A Investment Banking Corp. Leasing, lending, rentals, life insurance, real estate financing and development, venture capital, investment and retail banking, commodities funds and securities brokering.

Ex-players you might know
Chan Ho Park
Ryan Vogelsong
So Taguchi
Charlie Manuel
Hideo Nomo
Tuffy Rhodes
Yoshihisa Hirano


2019 Slogan
Be Aggressive #超攻撃型
Be Aggressive #Super Attack Type

#77 Norifumi Nishimura (59)

Nishimura is 31 year veteran of playing and coaching in the NPB. Dubbed the "King of Stealing". He was a pioneer in spike design and the use of video, to increase his stealing ability. This will be his first year as manager of the Buffaloes.

Projected Starters
*=LHB/LHP #=Switch

C - #37 Kenya Wakatsuki (23) .245/.269/.305

Wakatsuki is glove first catcher. Reported to have a elite "pop time" of 1.9 sec. Will likely split time with Torai Fushimi if he struggles.

1B - #12 Chris Marrero (30) .201/.282/.416 in 68 games or #33 Joey Meneses (26) .311/.360/.510 @ AAA Lehigh Valley

Marrero was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 15th overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft. He was a highly touted prospect who was the Baseball Prospectus #28 prospect for the 2008 season. Sadly he did not pan out. After 11 years in the minors with only 54 MLB games, Marrero signed with The Buffaloes at the end of May in the 2017 season. On June 9th in his first game with the team, he had his first HR ruled a triple after he missed touching home plate after colliding with the mascot during his trot. He went on to a outstanding 2017, .290/.364/.562 and 20 HR. He also hit NPB's 100,000 HR in September of 2017, winning a prize of 1 million Yen ($10,000). 2018 was a major let down tough. He ended up spending more then half the season on the Ni-Gun team after slumping in June.

Joey Meneses is a new pickup for the 2019 season. The young Mexican came up with the Braves Dominican team, and was the 2018 AAA International League MVP for the the Phillies. NPB will pay him double the minimum MLB salary and give him a chance to impress pro scouts for a big payday down the line. A good move for him, and a possible strong player for the Buffloes.

2B - #4 *Shuhei Fukuda (26) .264/.340/.329

2019 will the Fukuda's sophomore year in NPB. He is fast and good defender. While he only had 15 SB in 2018, I expect a lot more this season. He has been named the team captain for this season.

3B - #10 Koji Oshiro (25) .231/.289/.310

Oshiro will have lots if competition at 3B. There is no one real stand out to place here. The obvious pick Nakajima signed with the Giants. Oshiro will get his chance to impress in the early going.

SS - #3 Ryoichi Adachi (31) .219/.261/.277

Adachi is a top level defender a SS. He has said, "If I can't keep the SS position, I'm thinking I'll retire." He made the 2018 All-Star game on the back of his glove. He is also a fast player that will steal around 20 bases a season.

LF - #55 *T-Okada (31) .225/.300/.393

T-Okada a first round draftee out high school in 2005 and is probably the Buffaloes' most popular player. He is known for his big size, bat speed, and power hitting. He is the winner of the Pacific League MVP in 2010 and a Gold Glove at 1B in 2014. He lost a weight in 2017 dropping from 104kg to 98kg in off-season. 2018 was a awful year for him, he seemingly lost all his power. His ISO dropped from .222 in 2017 to .168 in 2018. Nicknamed T-Okada to differentiate his name from the manager with the same name.

CF - #6 *Yuma Mune (22) .233/.281/.372 in 74 games

Young Mune is someone to watch in the 2019 season. Drafted as a SS in 2014, the end of the 2018 season had him as the main CF. He is an athlete, has a strong arm, and a 2m69cm standing long jump.

RF - #34 *Masataka Yoshida (25) .321/.403/.553

Masataka Yoshida was a 2015 1st round pick out of Toho University. In the 2016 season he started the season with 6 consecutive games with hits, which tied the drafted rookie record. He was also the first rookie to DH since 2002. He finished the last month of the 2016 season with 10 HRs the most by an Orix rookie since 1969. But 2018 was his breakout season, it was his first full season without being sidelined with back pain. If he can stay pain free he might be the best hitter on the team.

DH - #9 Stefen Romero (30) .237/.313/.451

The Seattle Mariners selected Romero in the 12th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. After cracking the MLB in 2014 and putting up a career -1.4 WAR with Seattle, he joined Buffaloes for the 2017 season. He has been a valuable power hitter for the last 2 seasons.

Notable Starting Pitching and Relief Pitching

SP - #27 *Andrew Albers (33) 9-2 3.08 ERA / 1.105 WHIP / 6.6 K/9 / 3.95 K/BB / 3.26 FIP / 114 IP

Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Albers Albers is a world journeyman if there ever was one. After being released in 2014 by the Twins released he signed with the KBO Hanwha Eagles. Then for the 2015 season Albers signed a minor-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. After spending 2016 and 2017 in the AAAs, he signed with the Buffaloes in 2018. The 2018 All-Star will be an important rotation piece if he can stay healthy (back).

SP - #32 Brandon Dickson (34) 4-6 3.55 ERA / 1.212 WHIP / 7.6 K/9 / 2.80 K/BB / 3.26 FIP / 99 IP

Dickson was signed undrafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. After 2 brief stints with STL in 2011 and 2012, he became a main stay in the Buffaloes rotation from 2013. Dickson is always in the top 1 or 2 in ground ball %. 68.4%-2015 / 63.4%-2016 / 57.9%-2017

SP - # 29 *Daiki Tajima (22) 6-3 4.06 ERA / 1.223 WHIP / 9 K/9 / 2.88 K/BB / 3.89 FIP / 68.2 IP

Tajima, a 2017 Draftee, looked really good last year. He has a weird arm slot that has scouts worried about his health and stamina.

RP - #17 Hirotoshi Masui (34) 2-5 2.49 ERA / 1.354 WHIP / 9.6 K/9 / 2.09 K/BB / 3.22 FIP / 9 Holds / 35 Saves / 65 IP

Masui joined the Buffaloes last year. He is about as safe an arm as there is in the NPB. His first year in the league in 2010 for the Nippon Ham Fighters had him as a starter. He soon took his place in the bullpen where he excelled. First in 2011-2013 he got 107 holds, then as the closer he has gotten 145 saves.

SP - #42 Tyler Eppler (26) 13-6 3.59 ERA / 1.301 WHIP / 6.9 K/9 / 6.25 K/BB / 153 IP @ AAA Indianapolis

Eppler is new addition for 2018. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. He never broke through to the Majors and on January 15, 2019, the Orix Buffaloes purchased Eppler's contract from the Pirates.

C - C
1B - B-
2B - C
3B - C-
SS - C+
LF - B+
CF - C+
RF - B+
DH - B-

Rotation - C
Bullpen - B

The Buffaloes had a rough season in 2018. Stars T-Okuda and Marrero both slumped into near irrelevance, and now this season they will have to find some 300 IP worth of SP after losing SP Roach, SP stars Kaneko, and Nishi. They do have a lot of young talent and might be surprise contender, Meneses and Tajima both look interesting and might break out.


Oct 6, 2009

This will make sure you don't suggest to the KDz
That he should grow greens instead of crushing on MCs

Grimey Drawer

That looks painful.

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